UPDATE: The 31-year-old man died Wednesday morning and one of the children was pronounced dead Thursday, according to the Indianapolis Fire Department. The three other children are still getting medical care.
INDIANAPOLIS — A 31-year-old man and four children — ages 1, 3, 12, and 14 — were in critical condition after they were found unconscious during a couch fire in an apartment on Monday night, Indianapolis Fire Department reports.
Fire crews were called to reports of an apartment fire at 10:20 p.m. Monday in the 2800 block of Elwin Drive. That’s in the Briergate Apartments southeast of East 30th Street and North Post Road on the east side of Indianapolis.
Firefighters found a smoky haze in a hallway of the apartment building before extinguishing, in one first-floor apartment, a small fire on a couch. Crews later found the five people unconscious. Crews believed the five suffered cardiac arrest, and CPR was given immediately.
Rita Reith, the public information officer for the fire department, said couches on fire can produce dangerous chemicals.
“There was literally such little fire to it. It’s now going to be under investigation,” Reith said. “It was so absolutely quick because the fire was almost negligible. They hit it really quick, and it was out. Investigations will determine the cause of the fire.”
She said the people may have been sleeping while the fire burned.
Reith added Monday night, “At this time, we are just hoping for the best, and hoping that these little ones and the adults that are in that apartment can survive what they dealt with tonight.”
The mother of the four children was not at home during the fire but met investigators at a hospital. The 28-year-old is the father of the 1-year-old girl and 3-year-old girl. The 14-year-old and 12-year-old are boys.
Smoke alarms were working in the common hallway of the building.
American Red Cross and the fire department’s victims’ assistant unit were helping with one other displaced family.